Seven minutes into the first overtime period Sunday, Nelson Becerra sent a pass behind the Seton Hall defense, creating a one-on-one for Sverre Wegge Gundhus. Gundus dribbled into the box, where he was met head-on by Pirates goalkeeper Paul McHenry.
Gundhus fired a shot and McHenry saved it, another missed opportunity that prevented the Red Storm from earning a conference win over the Pirates. Instead, the Red Storm had to settle for a 0-0 tie after two overtime periods.
“I should’ve buried that last shot,” said Gundhus. “But we just couldn’t finish the game.”
Gundhus also had an opportunity to put the Red Storm ahead late in the second half, but was greeted by McHenry who made the stop.
“We had a lot of good chances,” said Gundhus, the Red Storm’s leading scorer (five points). “We just lacked a little extra, a little spark.”
The Johnnies struck early, with first half shots by Walter Hines, Adam Himeno and Pablo Punyed all coming close to giving the Red Storm that elusive score, but McHenry was just heating up under the bright lights of Belson Stadium, elevating his play by saving all three en route to a shutout.
“Sometimes our environment brings it out in people,” head coach Dave Masur said of McHenry’s performance.
Even though McHenry stopped the Red Storm at every opportunity, the home team did have a force of its own in net, as redshirt senior Derby Carillo notched his fourth shutout of the season. Carillo matched McHenry’s first half save total (3) and for the rest of the game.
The St. John’s defense allowed just one shot on goal in the second half and both overtime periods combined, while McHenry earned the shutout in seven saves. St. John’s (2-1-3, 1-0-1) has allowed just two goals all season.
But the Red Storm could not put the ball past McHenry, as he made saves off shots by Hines (76th minute) and Nelson Becerra (81st minute) in the second half.
“I told my team we need to be better overall with our focus and make team decisions,”said Masur. “We needed to be more consistent and play with more intensity.”
Despite not being able to close out their foes from New Jersey, the Johnnies did defeat Georgetown for their first Big East victory Friday and look to remain undefeated in conference play when they face Connecticut Friday.
“We need to have a great week of practice since we have UConn up next,” said Gundhus. “We need to regroup and focus.”
Becerra, the team’s leading scorer in 2008, played just 67 minutes against Seton Hall (4-2-1, 1-0-1) and is still trying to get back to playing complete games. Senior Ben Clack also missed the contest due to a hamstring injury.
The Johnnies will need to be at full health as the team embarks on a three-game road trip, because they won’t return to the friendly confines of Belson Stadium until the beginning of October.
“As long as we take what was positive from tonight and build on that we’ll be fine, said Gundhus. “We just need to fix the small details.”